President Alvin R. Dyer
of the First Presidency
of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
18 March 1962
Original transcript located in the
LDS Church Archives
FOR WHAT PURPOSE?
President Alvin R. Dyer 1
"It is recommended that each missionary should
read this message several times in order to get a
better understanding of the purpose of the
restored Gospel." 2
We have talked a lot about missionary work and heard the
testimonies of those who have spoken. I want to talk to you a
little bit now about something that is not missionary work,
and what I say is not to be given to our investigators by any
matter of means.
In the Korean War there was a thing that took place
that I don't know as it brought disgrace upon our country, but
it tends to prove the fact that so many of the young men of
America didn't have the concept of liberty and freedom as
sponsored by our own beloved country. This was such a
shock to our leaders that a program was instituted throughout
the country which is still carried on to better prepare our
young people to meet the future, both physically and
mentally, I was disillusioned at what took place. Always in
my life I have thought that a "Yankee" or an American was
just about the greatest of everything in the world. I have
always been a kind of hero worshipper anyway, and a great
football player or a great baseball player is something
throughout my life that has been more or less my ideal.
Anything American was great. I still feel that way when it
comes to my personal, inward feeling. I still have an affinity
There was an episode that took place in the Korean
1 Alvin Rulon Dyer. Born - 1 Jan. 1903. Ordained an Apostle - 29 Oct.
1965 (by David O. McKay), and set apart as a Counselor in the First
Presidency - 5 Oct. 1967. Died - 5 Mar. 1977.
2 This preface preceded the original printing of this talk. No copyright
notice was included with the original, and despite wide distribution
no copyright has ever been publicly claimed by the LDS Church or
the author, who has since died.
War that was very hard for me to take, and hard for me to
understand. I am sure that it was much harder for those who
were in it, who were called upon to endure the privations of
that war or any war for that matter. After the war was over,
the information concerning the behavior of our young men
who had been captured by the Koreans (Communist
Koreans) revealed the fact that they behaved more
ashamedly and with almost cowardice. In the interrogations
that were made of our young men, there were less than 5% of
them that even knew why they were fighting, and what was
meant by liberty and freedom and the American way of life.
Less than 5% of them had been taken prisoners, and I know
that that must not have been a very easy life. But the official
records, also revealed that 38% of the American soldiers that
were taken prisoners by Koreans who died in Prison camps,
didn't die from starvation or from any punishment. They
simply quit and laid down and died, because they did not
have the moral stability to fight. This was the disgraceful
thing about all of it. Nearly 4 out of 10 of the American
Korean prisoners died because they did not have the will to
live. They did not have any reason or rhyme for what they
were there for.
When this became known to our leaders, they
immediately called into conference a great body of men and
established in America, what they called a physical fitness
program. Ezra Taft Benson and Marion D, Hanks and several
others from the Church were called upon, and they are still
serving on it. I was glad to see that President Kennedy has
reinstated this program among our young people.
You might say, "What has that to do with us?" It
doesn't have a great deal to do with us except that I would
feel rather embarrassed as a leader of the Church if anyone
of our missionaries did not know what he is in the mission
field for. If you were asked the question as to why you were
here and what you were doing in the mission field, and all
you could say is that, "I am here preaching the Gospel, and I
have been sent out here, I know the Gospel is true, and I
have a testimony of it." If that is all you could say, you don't
have a full meaning for the purpose of missionary work.
We have always felt that if you would place in the
hearts and minds of anybody the reasons for doing things
and the purpose behind it, you wouldn't have to worry about
what the person would do. If you young men and women
know why you are here and why the Lord is so anxious for
us to preach the Gospel today, and then would ask yourselves
a number of questions connected with that, such as: Why is it
that you were born today instead of 2,000 years ago? Why is
it that you are sitting in this room today and were for some
reason not born in the day of Moses or in the day when
Christ was upon the earth? Or do you think that that is just
something haphazard that it just happened that way - that
nobody had anything to do with it. You would ask another
question maybe. Why is it that you are white and not
colored? Have you ever asked yourselves that question? Who
had anything to do with your being born into the Church and
not born a Chinese or a Hindu or a Negro? Is God such an
unjust person that He would make you white and free and
make a Negro cursed under the cursing of Cain that he could
not hold the Priesthood of God? Who do you think decided
and what is the reason behind it? Then maybe you would ask
yourselves another question. Why is it that you were kept in
the Spirit World until the Last Dispensation to come forth
among the children of men? Was there any reason for that,
and who decided it?
When you begin to get the answers to those
questions, then perhaps you will understand why the Gospel
of Jesus Christ is being preached in the world today, and the
plan of salvation is taking its effects upon people. I think that
every missionary ought to know the answers to these
questions. When he does know the answers, he stands before
the Lord without excuse to go forth and labor with all his
strength to serve the Lord.
There isn't anyone in this room that would have the
fantastic notion that this life is of any great duration. This life
is merely a pinpoint or speck in the eternity of man's
existence. It is over so fast that it is merely a short period of
time in the existence of eternal life of man here upon the
earth, just a few short hours in the plan of the Gospel
according to the Lord's reckoning of time. The whole plan of
life - its whole period - comes and goes within just a few
short hours of the Lord's time. To us it is many thousands of
I want to talk to you just briefly about this, not with
any information that you would convey to your investigators,
but that you, yourselves, may have a better understanding of
what we are doing in the mission field today, and why it is
that we come to you with encouragement to work with all
your strength to get people into the Church, and why we set
goals. It isn't for the purpose of a goal. That is just a kind of
game between us to become physically motivated to go out
and do our best and work as a team and as a mission. The
real purpose behind this is more far-reaching than that.
I will read to you from the Pearl of Great Price "And
the Lord said unto me" - speaking to Abraham - "These two
facts do exist, that they are two spirits, one being more
intelligent than the other, there shall be another more
intelligent than they" - indicating that in the pre-existence 3
there are three divisions of spirits. "These two facts do exist,
that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the
other - there shall be another more intelligent than they - I
am the Lord their God, I am more intelligent than they all." 4
This statement of Abraham's is directly connected
with the Degrees of Glory, because we are taught that when
people die, all shall be resurrected who are born in this life -
Sons of Perdition and all. They are then, after the Spirit
World, assigned into one of these three Degrees of Glory -
the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial. Others who
were spun off out of that go into outer darkness, because
3 More properly speaking "the pre-mortal existence" where the spirit
children of God lived in His presence.
4 Abraham 3:19.
there is no light in them. They can no longer repent, and
because they can no longer repent, they can no longer be
governed by law. Therefore they became Sons of Perdition
and are not worthy to go into a Degree of Glory. The
consequence of that is that they shall go with Lucifer and the
[unembodied] 5 spirits who never were permitted to take upon
themselves a body of flesh and bone.
You remember the scripture that missionaries very
often use in Corinthians when Paul is speaking of the three
divisions of people. We often use the scripture as a
resurrection scripture, but we do not apply it properly. If you
will read if carefully, it says "Such are they in the
resurrection." 6 Which means that Paul is calling to the
attention of those that listen to him that there are three
Degrees of Glory of people, who are in preparation on the
earth while they live here. 7 Now let's suppose, to make this
more plain, that the earth would end at this instant, that there
would be no one upon the earth, that life would cease and
that judgment was immediate. Obviously, the people who
had been living on the earth would be assigned to one of
these three places. Therefore, the people who are living upon
the earth today are the embryos of these three kingdoms.
The suggestion here by Abraham is that they were
born into this life with this same degree of division. There
were three divisions of mankind in the pre-existence, and
when you are born into this life, you are born into one of
these three divisions of people. There is an imposed
judgment placed upon everyone who leaves the Spirit World
just the same as there will be when they leave this life and go
into one of three places. When they left the Spirit World,
they had already been judged by what they had done in the
Spirit World and in their previous life. From the judgment is
determined how they shall be born in this life. 8 When you
5 Orig. "disembodied"
6 1 Corinthians 15:42.
7 1 Corinthians 15:40-41.
8 John 9:2 shows that the apostles understood that premortal actions
understand that, you know that God is not unjust to cause a
righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black
race or to be cursed as one of the other people who had been
cursed. Everything is in order. The procreation of man is
orderly and is in accordance with the plan of life and
In keeping with this thought, when Noah went into
the Ark, here again he took with him his three sons - one
representing the chosen lineage, the second representing the
lineage of adoption, and the third representing the cursed
lineage. Thereafter, when men began to be born again sons of
Noah, either through the lineage of Shem, Japheth, or Ham.
Those who have been cursed in the pre-existence were born
through the lineage of Ham. 10
I suppose, and you may often have heard missionaries
say it, or have asked the question: "Why is a Negro a
Negro?" And you have heard this answer: "They were
neither hot nor cold, so the Lord made them Negroes." This
of course, is not true. 11 The reason that spirits are born into
Negro bodies is that those spirits rejected the Priesthood of
God in the pre-existence. 12 This is the reason why you have
Negroes upon the earth.
You will observe that when Cain was influenced by
the power of Lucifer to follow him and to fall down and
worship him in the beginning, it was then that the Lord came
to him and said, "Cain, if you will abide the law - if you will
may determine earthly circumstances, although they were wrong
about the particular case.
9 Acts 17:26.
10 "President [Joseph F.] Smith said that he had been told that the idea
originated with the Prophet Joseph, but of course he could not vouch
for it. It was this: That the woman named Egyptus was in the family
way by a man of her own race before Ham took her to wife, and that
Cainan was the result of that illicit intercourse." (18 August 1900,
George A. Smith papers)
1 1 "President Young said ... 'There were no neutral spirits in heaven at
the time of the rebellion. All took sides.'" (25 December 1969,
12 Alma 13:3-5.
keep the commandments, you too can be acceptable unto
me." 13 But Cain rejected the counsel of God. He rejected
again the Priesthood as his forebears had done in the pre-
existence, Therefore, the curse of the pre-existence was made
institute through the lines of Cain, Consequently, you have
then the beginning of the race of men and women into which
would be born those in the pre-existence who had rejected
the Priesthood of God.
There was another division in the pre-existence -
those who were not valiant in the acceptance of the Gospel.
You see, there is a great difference between one who accepts
and one who accepts and does something about it. We had a
division in the pre-existence for those who did not accept the
Priesthood, neither did they fully accept the plan of salvation
that was advanced by the Christ, They, therefore, in
accordance to the plan of the Gospel, became those of the
lineage of adoption.
I want to read to you a very important scripture in the
Old Testament. We talk about studying books and reading
manuscripts to prepare ourselves to teach the Gospel, but
there are very few missionaries who have even studied the
Old Testament. The 10th Chapter of Genesis, according to
my information, has had at least 2,000 volumes written about
it - just about this chapter. It is so important, because the
whole plan and purpose of life was understood by the ancient
people of Israel, and they knew and understood what was
meant by the teachings of the Old Testament here given to us
by Moses. I want to read something to you and make an
explanation. "And Ham the Father of Canaan" - this is the
9th Chapter of Genesis - "saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth
took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and
went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father -
and their faces were backward and they saw not their father's
nakedness." 14 Now, that is a Jewish story - that is a Hebrew
13 See Genesis 4:7.
14 Genesis 9:22-23
story, in legend form, that merely implicates the fact that
Ham reinstated the curse of the pre-existence when he
rejected the Priesthood of Noah, and in consequence of that
he preserved the curse on the earth. Therefore, the Negroes
to be born thereafter, or those who were to become Negroes,
were to be born through the loins of Ham.
All of this is according to a well worked-out plan, the
millions and billions of spirits waiting birth in the pre-
existence would be born through a channel or race of people.
Consequently, the cursed were to be born through Ham. We
cannot accept this story literally, because in order to
understand that, you have to read the Pearl of Great Price
very carefully. Because in the early days when the Egyptian
government was established under its first rulers, the
Pharaohs, they worked up a system that was exactly like the
Priesthood of God, It was exactly like the Patriarchal Order,
but knowing they could not claim the birthright, they thought
to capitalize on the form or the order of administration. The
Pearl of Great Price tells us specifically that they knew that
they could not hold the Priesthood, yet they used the same
type of organization. 15 Gradually, the sons of Pharaoh began
to denounce the concept and assumed unto themselves that
they were princes, and not the descendants of Ham. There is
a great deal more to it than that, but I wanted to point this out
to you. That all of this that we talk about with people is not
just merely a little message that we proclaim to them, but all
that we are doing is part of a great plan that we inaugurated
under the direction of the Christ in the pre-existence.
Listen to what Noah said to his other two brethren:
"And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his young
son had done unto him, And he said, cursed is Canaan - a
servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren, And he said,
Blessed be the Lord God of Shem - and Canaan shall be his
servant." 16 Who is Shem? Shem is what is known as the
father of Shemitics. He became the father of the children of
15 Abraham 1:25-27.
16 Genesis 9:24-26
Israel. Through the lines of Shem and his descendants were
born Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then twelve sons or
Princes of Israel. Therefore, Shem became the father, or the
progenitor, of those who were to be born into this life who
were the noblest of the intelligences whom Abraham speaks
of here when he said, "Not withstanding that these two
spirits are intelligent, and one is more intelligent than the
other," 17 there is still another spirit or another division that is
more intelligent than both of them. Then subsequent to that,
he said to Abraham, "Now the Lord had shown unto me,
Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the
world was - and among all these there were many of the
noble and great ones; and God saw these souls that they were
good, and He stood in the midst of them, and He said:
"These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that
were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said
unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them, thou wast chosen
before thou wast born." 18 This is true with everyone who fits
into the category of the descendants of Shem who became
the literal sons and daughters of Israel.
This is a part of the plan the world does not know
anything about. The Christian churches never mention it.
They never teach it because they know nothing about it.
Noah made another promise at this time, and he said,
"God shall enlarge Japheth, and He shall dwell in the house
or tent of Shem." 19 What is the house or tent of Shem? The
House of Israel. Therefore, descendants of Japheth shall be
enlarged, and they shall be permitted to dwell in the House
of Israel. Therefore, we call the descendants of Japheth the
children of the adoption. Now, who are the descendants of
Japheth? The descendants of Japheth are in all of Europe.
They are in America. They are in Japan and Korea, They are
in India, and all of these people can be traced. For example,
we have here the generations of Shem as the Lord gives it to
17 Abraham 3:18.
18 Abraham 3:22-23.
19 Genesis 9:27.
us in Chapter 10 of the Book of Genesis. These ancient
prophets were careful to preserve these generations, and
these genealogies, knowing their full meaning, which the
world doesn't understand but which we know by revelation
from the Lord.
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah:
Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and unto them were born sons after
the Flood." 20 The sons of Japheth: Gomor they are the
French, Magog - they are the slavs, and Madai - they are the
Hindu, the Korean, the Indian, the Japanese and the Filipino.
We know who the people are who migrated eastward through
India into the area of Tungus and then into Korea and Japan.
This is the reason today why we are having such tremendous
success among the Koreans and the Japanese, because it is
the day the Gospel is to be preached to them. Then he goes
on to say, Javan - the people of Greece and Italy, and of
Turkey; Meshech - the Mezhecites, the Muskavites, the
Russians; Tiras - the Syberians. 21 These were the descendants
The day was to come, according to Noah, that these
people and their descendants would come in and dwell in the
tent, of the house of Shem, or the House of Israel. You have
to know that and understand it to know what the Lord is
doing today in preaching the Gospel unto the Gentiles
because this is the day of the Gentile. We are preaching the
Gospel to the Gentiles. They are the people of Europe. They
are the people of America. This is the time of the Gentile.
Only one portion of the House of Israel is being called and
they are the children of Ephraim.
Every one of you here, I assume, has had a
patriarchal blessing. Is there anyone here who is not of the
lineage of Joseph? You see what I mean? They are the only
ones of the House of Israel that are being called the lineage
of Joseph through Ephraim, and there is reason for that.
I want to mention again the teaching of Christ unto
20 Genesis 10:1.
21 Genesis 10:2.
the Nephites. You will find this in the 21st chapter of 3
Nephi; the sign of the Father's work, the glorious destiny of
the repentant Gentiles, the condemnation predicted for the
impenitent, and the coming of the new Jerusalem, or the city
of Zion. Then the Lord, Himself, speaking unto the Nephites
said this: "And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign,
that ye may know the time when these things shall be about
to take place - that I shall gather in from their long
dispersion, my people, O House of Israel, and shall establish
again among them my Zion." 22
Then He goes on to tell that the first of this day shall
be the day of the Gentile, and you read that entire chapter. I
won't take the time to do it, but He says in that, "For my sake
shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a
marvelous work among them; and there shall be them those
who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto
them." 23 - the Prophet Joseph Smith - "But behold, the life of
my servant shall be in my hand; therefore, they shall not hurt
him, although he shall be marred because of them, Yet I will
heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is
greater than the cunning of the devil." 24
The Prophet Joseph Smith suffered martyrdom, but
was not harmed, and he said to his brother in Carthage prison
just before he was shot, "Fear not, brethren, they may take
our lives and destroy the body, but they cannot kill us." For
this is what the Lord is saying here. If you will read the rest
of the chapter, you will read how the Gospel is to be taken to
the Gentiles. The Lord said in verse 22, "But behold! If the
Gentiles will repent" - meaning who? The French, the
German, the Norwegian, the Swedish, the Finlander, the
people of Denmark, and the people all over the countries of
Europe. "If they will repent and harken unto my words, and
harden not their hearts, I will establish my Church among
them and they shall come in unto whom I have given this
22 3 Nephi 21:1.
23 3 Nephi 21:9.
24 3 Nephi 21:10.
land for their inheritance," 25 This was spoken of before by
Nephi, you will read it in the 13th and 14th chapters of the
Book of Mormon where the Lord makes plain that the day
will come when the Gentiles will receive the Gospel and will
come in and be numbered among the children of Israel.
I read just one of these scriptures although there are
many found in 1 Nephi. There is another found in 1 Nephi,
chapter 14, starting with the first verse. "And it shall come to
pass that if the Gentiles" - let me explain again now who the
Gentiles are, in the eyes of a Jew everyone who is not a Jew
is a Gentile. But correctly speaking, the Gentiles are the
descendants of the House of Japheth, the oldest son of Noah.
The cursed people are the descendants of Ham. The chosen
people are the descendants of Shem - the three sons of Noah.
Through these lineages the spirits that compare with their
station are born in this life. This is why you have colored
people, why you have dark people, and why you have white
people. The Lord is speaking of the Gentiles, "And it shall
come to pass that if the Gentiles" - the descendants of
Japheth - "shall harken unto the Lamb of God in the day that
He shall manifest Himself unto them in the word, and also in
power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling
blocks" 26 in other words, where they have resisted the
Church, resisted conversion, the Lord will remove the
stumbling blocks "and if they harden not their hearts against
the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of
their father: yea, they shall be a blessed people." 27 You see,
this is the promise that was made anciently by Noah when he
blessed Japheth. Because why? Because he did not rebel
against the Priesthood that Noah held like Ham did, and
neither did Shem.
We have a fulfillment of this scripture. When the
Kirtland Temple was finished, there was a number of ancient
prophets that made their appearance in the temple. The
25 3 Nephi 21:22.
26 1 Nephi 14:1.
27 1 Nephi 14:2.
Christ was the first to come and receive the Temple and gave
instructions to Joseph Smith, many of which we have not
been privileged to know about. Following this there appeared
unto them Moses and then came Elias and then came Elijah -
each of them committing the keys of their specific work. 28
Let me call your attention to the keys of Elias. In the first
place, who is Elias? Elias is Noah, Here we have the same
one who gave the covenant unto Japheth anciently, that he
would be blessed and that we would come in and dwell in
the House of Shem. He returned to earth to give the keys
unto the Prophet Joseph Smith to fulfill the promise made to
Abraham that through the loins of Abraham, or the chosen
seed, all the children of the earth would be blessed.
Soon after 1836 the Lord gave the revelation to send
missionaries and commence work among the Gentiles in
England, and labor in 1850 in France, and then in northern
Italy and then these other countries. This was not done,
however, until Noah returned the "Key."
You see, as in Elias the Gospel of Jesus Christ would
be preached unto the Gentiles. Don't you see that what we
are doing is a great deal more important than just filling a
two and one-half year period as a missionary and then going
home? We are working out the plan which the Father laid in
the beginning as to what would transpire. What has actually
happened? The Lord is preparing men and women today to
become heirs of the Celestial Kingdom. This is the only
work that is being done. The work for the Terrestrial
Kingdom has not even been started yet. It will not start until
the work for the Celestial Kingdom is finished. Then all who
are to go into the Telestrial Kingdom, will continue until all
have made covenant and have received the promise to go
into that Kingdom. All of these things will be done in their
Why is the work being done for the Celestial
Kingdom first? Why is that in your patriarchal blessing it
says that you will come forth in the morning of the First
28 D&C 110:11-16.
Resurrection. Because only those who come forth in the
morning of the First Resurrection will go into the Celestial
Kingdom. Those who come forth in the evening of the First
Resurrection will go into the Terrestrial Kingdom, and this
will be the end of the First Resurrection. The Second
Resurrection will be for those who go into the Telestial
Kingdom and those who eventually become Sons of
All of this is in accordance with a well-worked out
plan of procreation and judgment until the final work that the
Lord has intended for men is over.
There is another thing that you must understand for
yourselves to understand this whole thing, and that is this
life, or the day of this life, so far as the Gospel is concerned,
begins the day you were born and ends after the period of the
Spirit World - not when you die in this life. So, the day of
this life, so far as the plan of life is concerned is from the day
you were born until the end of your period in the Spirit
World. For this reason, then, we can function and carry on
the program that the Lord has intended in the Spirit World so
that they can be preached to and have work done for them
here upon the earth, and that work will be bound in the
worlds that are to come.
Now I want to go back again to the statement of
Abraham and to emphasize here the importance of what we
are doing. "Now the Lord has shown unto me, Abraham, the
Intelligences that were organized before the world was; and
among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
and God saw these souls that they were good and He stood in
the midst of them and He said, These will I make my
rulers." 29 All right, what did the Lord mean by that? I call
your attention now to the washing and anointing that you
received in the Temple. All of you have been through the
Temple, I assume. When you went into the washing and
anointing room where you were washed and anointed with
oil and water, you were given a new name, and you were
29 Abraham 3:22.
promised that someday you would be called up to be a king
and a priest or a queen and a priestess. Don't ever suppose
that this is for this life. It is not. It is for the next life, and the
Lord is preparing today, the rulers that will be administrators
of this, that is the Celestial Kingdom must be peopled first
because it becomes the Kingdom of Administration, so all of
it becomes part of the plan.
The Terrestrial Kingdom will receive its
administrators through the Christ and the Melchizedek
Priesthood, and there will be a system of government
establishment upon that kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom
will receive its administration through the ministering angels
of the Celestial Kingdom, and they will have their form of
government, but they will exist and live under a government.
They will be controlled by laws and growth - all in
accordance with the plan of the Lord - the same in the
Terrestial and Celestial Kingdoms.
Now, let us suppose that we were a board of directors
here today and we were going to establish a vast corporation
that would hire millions of men and women. Would we go
out and hire all these men right at the outset, or would we
first build on administrative building and hire executives or
administrators and then place them over the control and
govern? It is the same thing in the plan of life. The Celestial
Kingdom must be founded first because it becomes the
Kingdom of Administration. The Lord has revealed these
things to us. They are very plain, and what we are striving
for today is to find those whom the Lord wants to make His
We like to think, know, and I do too, that the Gospel
is going to be received by everyone, but it isn't. I call to your
attention to the statements of the Christ when he said,
"Straight is the gate and narrow the way, . . . and few there be
that find it." 30 There won't be many, but these the Lord has
chosen in the pre-existence, if they are worthy and prove
their worthiness in this life and this probation, then they
30 Matthew 7:14.
receive the endowment. When they get the endowment, they
are promised that they will be leaders, We call them kings
and priests, but the correct word in our terminology would be
administrators, a leader, and executive, who will go into
these other degrees of glory.
Now you see how the plan opens up, and there is
purpose and meaning as to what we are doing? I have often
said this, it is a frightening thought, but it is undoubtedly
true, that only those who are worthy of leadership will enter
the Celestial Kingdom, because that is the Kingdom of
Administration. Others who are less valiant, who do not have
the qualities of leadership and direction will necessarily have
to settle for the Terrestrial Kingdom.
I don't know whether the knowledge of the revelation
of these things will have an effect upon you as a missionary,
but know that it has an effect upon me, because if am to
fulfill my destiny and my purpose here in this life as has
been given me and proven to me by my pre- [mortal] 31
identity, then I would do everything in my power to measure
up to what was in the preexistence, because if we could this
day, by some miraculous means be permitted to see who we
were wouldn't be President Dyer up here or you wouldn't be
Elder Smith or Brown or President Gunderson. Oh, no! You
would be someone else, and the day will come when you
will know who you are, because you are a person of nobility
in the pre-existence. If you were not, you would have been
born into one of these other channels, and you would not
have been born in this day and age, because the Lord has
withheld the choice spirits of the pre-existence to come forth
in this the last dispensation, and the reason for this is
obvious. Why? Because in the world, will be just that many
righteous spirits who supported Him and sustained Him and
who accepted Him in the pre-existence. That is why today
am telling you how to preach the Gospel to the people. They
do not need to have long teaching, These people today who
are accepting the Gospel know all about it because they have
3 1 Orig. "pre-existent"
been selected to know. That is why they recognize it when
they feel the charge and the impact of testimony and spirit.
Then it all unfolds to them, and many of them are even more
brilliant than we because of the place which they held.
This is not like any other day in the history of the
world, The Lord is preparing to make His stand. The Lord is
now preparing to establish His Kingdom, the Kingdom that
will govern the earth for 1,000 years before we go into the
judgment period that leads into the establishment of the
degrees of glory. In consequence of that, He has widely
chosen the ones that are to come into the world in this day
and age. It is a battle. He fought the power of Lucifer in the
pre-existence. He had to use His best spirits to defeat him,
and here again He will have to do the same thing, and He
knows that. Now, what does that mean in probation?
In the sight of our Heavenly Father he has made this
life a probation which means that a person who is born in a
lower division can accelerate through this life to a higher
division. For example, if a colored person, being born into
the Telestial division will receive and accept the Gospel, he
can be elevated to the Celestial division or to the Terrestrial
division. That is the purpose of the probation, That is why
the Lord set the plan of the Gospel so that those who had not
merited it in the pre-existence may merit it here through this
life or probation. Don't you see that? Don't you see the
purpose of the probation, the planning of the Gospel, to
provide even this last opportunity in this life while men are
taking upon themselves the element of body to have another
chance to improve their place over what they had done in the
Now I want to read to you from the Book of Mormon
on that. This scripture will have new meaning to you, I am
sure, as you understand the things that I have spoken. The
Prophet Alma understood this very plainly and want you to
pay particular attention to what he says. This is found in the
34th chapter, beginning with the 31st verse. I am sure that
you have read it, but let's read it now for this concept. "Yea, I
would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts
any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your
salvation," What is the time and the day? From the beginning
of birth to the end of the Spirit World. That is the time and
the day of your salvation. "And therefore, if ye will repent
and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan
of redemption be brought about unto you." 32 Don't you see?
All a man has to do is repent and open his heart to the
Lord, and immediately the plan will be made known unto
him. That doesn't say the missionary will make it known
unto him the power of the Holy Ghost will snake it known
unto him. He already knows it because he stood in the
councils and supported and sustained this plan. He
recognized the prophets, etc. "For behold, this life is the time
for men to prepare to meet God."
If life did not extend beyond the grave, then why did
Christ go to the Spirit World? Why do we send our
missionaries to the Spirit World, undoubtedly where Elder
Wheat went? Isn't it something that he was driving on the
highway doing missionary work? In the twinkling of an eye
he was doing missionary work in the Spirit World. He had
changed from life to death still a missionary. It came upon
him, and he never even knew what happened. I know just as
well as I know anything that he is preaching the Gospel.
Many of the people of the world like the descendants
of Meshech who are-living in Russia, live and die without
hearing the Gospel and go to the Spirit World. We do not
have access to them, so the Lord teaches them the Gospel in
the Spirit World, because their government won't let us do it
here. Then their descendants hear of it, and they, themselves,
wield great influence. In this way the Gospel is preached
unto all nations, kindreds, and tongues.
"Now behold, this life is the time for men to prepare
to meet God, behold the days of this life is the day for men to
perform their labors." 33 Now listen closely, "And now, as I
32 Alma 34:31.
33 Alma 34:32
said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses,
therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the
day of your repentance until the end." What is the end? The
end of the Spirit World is this life. "For after this day of life:"
- or from birth until the end of the Spirit World "Which is
given to us to prepare for eternity. Behold, if we do not
improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of
darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." 34 Do you
see how plain this is? If we do not improve ourselves from
one division to another born into this world in a lower
division, improving ourselves to one of the higher, then we
can do nothing about it. "If we do not improve our time and
our place in this life, then cometh the night of darkness
wherein there can be no labor performed," It is just as simple
as anything can be simple.
I wanted to talk to you about that today, because I
wanted you know the reason why you are preaching the
Gospel. There is a purpose behind it and knowing this as you
do and knowing your nobility - what kind of a missionary are
you going to be from this day to the end of your mission? I
know what kind you want to be. There will be no more
wasted time because it is imposed upon you - the necessity
of continuing your nobility, that you may prove your place,
that you may be a ruler and a king and a queen and a
priestess as you were promised in the Temple of God if you
were faithful in fulfilling your obligation.
I have always thought and have proven the point
many times that if you will place into the mind of a boy or a
girl, firmly, that they are noble persons, born of noble
heritage in the pre-existence, they will never stoop to
anything that is sordid. They just won't do it. You don't need
the preaching and harassments of young people. All you
need to do is accept that as your ideology, and what you do
from now on will be the important thing in your life, because
I have made known to you today something that you may not
have known before, but you know it now because the Spirit
34 Alma 34:33.
May the Lord bless you in it and bless you with the
knowledge. I bear record of this truthfulness in the name of
Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sons of God 35
Although the Lord created all the world and we are all "the
offspring of God" 36 only those who are members of His
church holding the priesthood are considered to be "sons of
God." 37 He further said, "But as many as received him, to
them gave he power to become the sons of God." 38 From
Paul we read, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God." 39 The blessing of being a son of
God is to be "an heir of God through Christ" 40 this blessing
is attained only through faithful obedience to the Lord's
35 It is uncertain whether this added by President Dyer or the transcriber.
36 See Acts 17:29.
37 See John 3:2.
38 See John 1:12-13.
39 See Romans 8:11+
40 See Galatians 4:6-7.
First Presidency Statement
17 August 1949
The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains
as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of
a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which
is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its
organization, to the effect that Negroes may become
members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the
priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have
made several statements as to the operation of the principle.
President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the
inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It
comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of
the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down
to death. And when all the rest of the children have received
their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be
removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up
and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings
which we now are entitled to." ...
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may
be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in
mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal
existence has some determining effect upon the conditions
and circumstances under which these spirits take on
mortality and that while the details of this principle have not
been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to
those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of
the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to
earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be
as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among
the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the
blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are
willing to assume in order that they might come to earth.
Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever
involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the
priesthood by the Negroes.